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Santa Monica Rent Board Wants Study on Ellis Act Eviction “Predictors”
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
2802 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310)828-7525 -

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

June 14, 2016 -- Nicole Phillis, chair of Santa Monica’s Rent Control Board, said nobody knows for sure how measures such as the LUVE Initiative, likely going before voters in November, and the Downtown Community Plan, currently under review, will affect the future of the City’s rent-controlled units.

But she wants City officials to find out through a formal study.

Phillis’ colleagues on the rent board supported her proposal Thursday that the City Council be urged to conduct a study on whether conditions could be identified that cause landlords to evict tenants as a method to get out of the rental business

This method of eviction is allowed under the rules of the State’s Ellis Act.

“I have noticed a lot of discussion in the community about ways in which zoning changes, initiatives and the Downtown Community Plan would affect rent control and whether it would lead to an onslaught of Ellis activity,” Phillis said

She continued, “There’s a whole heck of a lot of speculation on what will happen, and we don’t have the information. We don’t have the data. We haven’t run the analysis.”

Phillis added that her proposal was not a method to “impede Ellis in any way,” but rather a way “to help understand how we can make the preservation of rent control work for us as a community.”

She said this would include the City determining what it could do "to incentivize keeping rent control."

Sacramento lawmakers approved the Ellis Act in 1985.

In the three decades since its passage, the law has been used to remove a net total of more than 2,000 units from Santa Monica’s rent-controlled stock, according to a report from the rent board that covers conditions through the end of last year.

Twenty-two notices were filed last year to withdraw from the rental market, affecting 153 units, according to the report. These numbers have been on the rise since 2013.

Commissioner Todd Flora was the only other person on the rent board to speak about the measure.

He said, “We do need to look at all of these things -- local initiatives, council action, what we’re doing on the rent board -- and how they all interact.

The board is expected to sign off on a formal resolution featuring a request of the council next month. It will then submit the resolution to the council, which will consider it at a future meeting.

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